PAUSE Meets: Jack & Jack


Jack & Jack

Talk music, fashion and the role of social media

Styling: Rhys Marcus Jay // @rhysmarcusjay
Photographer: Jake Hateley // @jakehateley
MUA: Charlotte Kraftmann // @charlottekraftmanmakeup
Interviewer: Johnson Gold // @johnson_gold
Questions by: Joseph Furness // @josephfurness

Fashion Assistant: Suril // @suril__

Keeping Each Other In Check…

Jack Gilinsky and Jack Johnson are about as down to earth as it gets when it comes to people in their position. An evident foreshadow of their musical careers to come, the duo started out making parody videos in their bedrooms while growing up in middle America and have been working together ever since. Over the years, a combination of social media prowess and musical talent has seen their popularity soar parallel to their following. PAUSE sat down with Jack & Jack to learn a little more…

Jack G – Jumper: Urban Outfitters, Trouser: Trainers: JW Anderson x Converse, Jack J – Top/Trousers: Urban Outfitters, Trainers: Vans, Sunglasses: Stylist’s Own, Jewellery: Artists Own

You performed a gig here in London last night. How does a British audience compare to an American one?

Jack Johnson: It’s always hype, regardless of the country we’re performing in.

Jack Gilinsky: The less we are in a particular country, the more hype the fans are. That’s because, when you’re exposed to something all the time, it gets less exciting every time you see it.

JJ: With LA, we’ve been living there for the past four years, and I remember the first time we ever went it was craziness. It was mayhem, 40 girls would show up if we posted a Snapchat about anything. Eventually, they’ve seen us so many times…

JG: It’s like they are friends now, we are like homies. That’s so different to London fans because they put us on this level, which we’re not on, but when you don’t know someone, and you’ve seen them so much online or in the tabloids, then you might see them on a pedestal. But after spending so much time with someone…

JJ: It’s like they realise we are just humans. But to answer the question, it’s been two years since we’ve been to London and it was extremely hype last night. When we come back and do a bigger venue, I can only imagine that energy in a 2,000 people cap room.

JG: Yeah, that energy was so crazy last night, I wouldn’t want to say I prefer one over another but the UK is one of my favourite places to perform.

What are your favourite spots in London to visit and why?

JG: I don’t know my way around London, so I like to wander, look around and see new architectures.

JJ: I said “the air is so fresh in London” and everyone was like “what!”. It’s just a placebo effect or something, but there’s something about the environment here which I love. On top of that, Nandos is my go-to spot. They’ve started to bring it to America which is a bad idea, and I think it should only be in Britain.

JG: It’s so much better here!

JJ: It’s like the In-N-Out Burger of California, it’s a treat when you go there. We want to ride Boris bikes around Embankment today.

You get to travel around the world because of your career. What are the essential items you always have in your suitcase?

JG: I like to bring a hairdryer with me.

JJ: I always need my sleeping mask. When I’m on flights, I always have an eye mask that I can’t sleep without as most of our flights are during the day. I bring a lot of fanny packs, belts and other accessories. I’m a big accessories guy; I love rings, watches etc. so I carry a lot of that stuff with me.

JG: I’m a basic dude so I’ve just got pants, shirts, hoodies and that’s about it.

JJ: You’ve got to have the Bluetooth speaker too.

JG: We get a lot of balances from our producers whether we’re at home or on the road, they’re sending us new balances.

JJ:  We like to use a good speaker to listen to our balances, give them some notes so they can go back and create a new version – so definitely need the Bluetooth speaker.

Jacket: Cheap Monday, T-Shirt: Stylist’s Own, Shorts: Dickies @ Urban Outfitters, Trainers: Converse

What is the most stylish location you have visited in the world?

JG: probably London or Paris.

JJ: Yeah, and New York City.

JG: and New York; New York and London have a lot of similarities.

You fell into the music scene in 2014. Was this something you had always planned to venture into?

JJ: Jack and I have been making music as far back as I can remember. I don’t ever think we ever planned to push it to the public. We are from Omaha, Nebraska, and before social media, we would make music for Youtube. I was always rapping and writing raps for myself since first grade, and he (Gilinsky) was always in show choir in middle school and High School, always singing and dancing. We would make song parodies which is funny as it almost foreshadowed what we’re doing now. We would take a Top 40 song and make a parody of it in the fifth and sixth grade, and we would put these Youtube videos up that showed us in front of his (Gilinsky’s) Mac in his living room, and we were rapping our bars and singing.

JG: Yeah it definitely foreshadowed as you would rap and I would sing the hooks. We were just trying to pass the time in Nebraska as there wasn’t much to do there. We definitely never thought we would be doing music on this scale, like what we see here in London, that’s so foreign to us and a dream come true.

JJ: That just goes to show the power of social media; it doesn’t matter where you are from these days, geography isn’t a barrier no more.

JG: There are no barriers.

JJ: Overnight, something you post online could blow up.

JG: We both feel that if the internet wasn’t a thing, we might not have made it out of Nebraska.

JJ: People can be so self-made and so self-sufficient now without the power of a major label.

Use three words to describe three similarities between you both?

Both: Passionate, intellectual and chilled.

JG: The best part of being a duo as that all three of those things come from us being together.

JJ: We keep each other in check. We both know where we came from and we can humble the other person. We can just be like “Yo bro, I remember you peeing your pants in second grade”.

What are the differences between you?

JJ: The biggest one is that he’s (Gilinsky) either got OCD or as close to it as you can get.

JG: I’ve got to get checked out for it.

JJ: If you move a lighter on his desk by just putting it at a different angle, he will literally notice it within 30 seconds and put it back at its original angle. He’s super organised, and I’m getting better at it.

JG: That’s how we work, it’s a balance.

JJ: It’s like Ying and Yang! Blonde and brunette.

Shirt: Whistles Men, Trousers: Dickies @ Urban Outfitters, Trousers: WhatWeWear, Belt Chain: Urban Outfitters, Trainers: Vans

Jack G – Top: Urban Outfitters, Shorts: OFF-WHITE @ Browns Fashion, Trainers & Socks: Nike, Glasses & Necklace: Stylist’s Own. Jack – Jacket: Nicopanda, Shorts: Palm Angels @ Browns Fashion, Socks: Calvin Klein, Trainers: Converse, Sunglasses: Ace & Tate, Jewellery: Artists Own.

How would you describe your styles?

JG:  I would say Johnson is more style conscious. He’s got a good sense of who he is and is comfortable in that style. I mean, I know who I am as a person, but I’m not good at bringing that out through clothing, which is something I want to get better at.

JJ: No, I think he’s (Gilinsky) got a very sleek, under-the-radar kind of style; you never try to do anything too flashy. I’ll take a lot more risks, and whether they work or not, I don’t really care. I like going to the flea market and getting random pieces that nobody has ever seen.

JG: No, you’ve made that your vibe now which means even if it doesn’t work – it works. That’s your vibe, and you pull it off. That’s the main thing: you take risks, I play it safe.

JJ: I like wearing a lot of colours and wearing crazy coloured shoes. I love wearing stuff which makes people double take and makes people wonder.

You’re both all about streetwear brands. If you could both only wear one brand for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?

JG: I would pick Adidas. The Yeezys are super comfy – even though they’re super hypebeast – and the pants are my essential pants. Or Champion! However, they don’t have many Champion shoes. I’d say Adidas or Champion as we’re either playing sports or chilling-out.

JJ: I’d say Adidas as they’re one of those umbrella brands that cover everything.

Your rise to fame came through social media. How would you advise the younger generations to use social media as a tool to build a career?

JJ: Social media is 100% what you make of it, it can either be the most toxic thing in the world or the most beautiful. If you genuinely want to be in a position of an influencer, make sure whatever content you’re putting out there is authentic. As cliché as it sounds, people will do anything for a click, a view or a check these days.

JG: We live in a click-bait culture.

JJ: Yeah, a click-bait culture which is definitely over the top. I think the people who are going to have longevity in the influencer game, are the people who are genuinely making content from their heart, not for their wallets.

JG: Or, if you just have fame and money in mind, you’re probably not going to get very far – you’ve got to be passionate about what you’re putting out there. Be genuine and if that’s not you, do something else.

JJ: Authenticity is key and to make sure you don’t get caught up in numbers.

Who are the artists that have influenced your music?

JJ: In terms of rappers, I love Eminem, Andre 3000 and Lil Wayne – they’re my three favourite rappers of all time. I’d say Andre in terms of his intricate flows, as he’ll do patterns that no one else even thinks about, Eminem in terms of his syncopation and how fast he can rap and Lil Wayne in terms of his cleverness, punchlines and analogies. In an overall music perspective, there’s a lot of current artists, such as Anderson Paak.

JG: They’re dope, and Daniel Ceaser.

JJ: …and Post Malone, he’s so unassuming.

JJ: I don’t even think we make music based on these people, they just inspire me to be different.

JG: We see them making good music and then it makes you think about making good music.

What does your new song ‘Stay with Me’ mean to you both?

JJ: It’s not a surface-level song by any means. It’s not a song you listen to in the background; you listen word-for-word.

JG: It’s probably our most meaningful song to date. If you have listened to the song, you’ll know what it’s about, and its an important message as teens are probably the most susceptible to depression.

JJ: When you’re in high school, you feel like whatever happens there is the be-all and end-all of life. You feel like there’s no life outside of high school and you get so caught up inside of that realm. In reality, I felt my life didn’t even start until high school was over. It was inspired by 13 Reasons Why, we watched the show, and it really showed the harsh reality of suicide and depression, so we felt it was important to put that into a song. We’ve had so many meaningful conversations with our fans, about these topics, over the years and having a family cry to you and tell you that you saved their life, makes you feel responsible. I think artists should never feel responsible to do anything. I think as a human: your happiness comes first and foremost as you even see artists killing themselves. Jack and I just wanted to make something inspiring for our fans to listen to; it came out of a genuine place of wanting to help our fans. I always think, what if we put out that song six months earlier? We might’ve saved a life.

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